Melbourne Festival – top picks

Published:  August 28, 2012
Melbourne Festival – top picks

Melbourne Festival with its varied palette of cultural events is back in Melbourne this spring from Thursday 11 October to Sunday 27 October. The program includes outdoor, experiential and interactive events designed to engage people of all ages throughout the city. We’ve done the hard work for you and put together a small selection of highlights from the program. For the full list of events head to

Destroyed Word
Destruction: ACCA, forecourt, Wednesday 10 October at 8.15pm
: NGV International, Level 3, Wednesday 17 October – Sunday 28 October, 10am – 5pm

A visual arts project (spanning two years and ten countries) ends its trail of destruction in Melbourne, with a towering typographic inferno.

Since 2010, Sierra’s project has traversed the world, commissioning the construction of giant letters from materials of local importance, and then publicly – and dramatically – destroying them. Having built and torn down structures in Iceland, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, France, Holland, Sweden, India and Papua New Guinea, the project now comes to Melbourne for the destruction of the tenth and final letter.

Destroyed Word

City Within the City
Fri 5 Oct – Sat 10 Nov
Tue – Fri 11am – 5.30pm
Sat 11am – 4.30pm
Gertrude Contemporary

An international exhibition co-presented by galleries in Melbourne and Seoul, City Within the City investigates the urban centre as a site for expression and rebellion.

City Within the City answers with a diverse range of responses drawn from around the world: seventeen works by artists and collectives, drawing on architecture, landscape, literature and cinema to create images and video reflecting on the driving narratives of life in the city.

City Within the City

An Act of Now
Thursday 18 October – Saturday 27 October at 8pm
Sidney Myer Bowl

Melbourne-based dance collective, Chunky Move, presents its first show under new artistic director Anouk van Dijk.

“There are over seven billion people living on the planet today. With the world shifting socially, politically and economically at an unprecedented rate, how do we as a race, as a nation and as a community, manage to coexist?”

Presenting the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl in a new light, this production has audiences seated on the stage itself. Each individual will watch and listen intimately in on headphones, as the footfalls and reactions of dancers meld with a quietly pulsing score.

An Act of Now

Place of Assembly
Wednesday 10 October – Saturday 27 October
Sunday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm
Schoolhouse Studios

From tannery to monastery to schoolhouse, and on to its current incarnation as a bustling arts precinct, the site of Abbotsford’s Schoolhouse Studios has been a locus of the Melbourne community for over 120 years. But with this iconic building’s demolition scheduled for the end of 2012, a vibrant chapter of local history is drawing to a close.

In honour of this passing, the 75 artists of Schoolhouse Studios are holding a comprehensive, wide-ranging exhibition of the works they’ve developed while in residence – a final, triumphant snapshot of the creative energy generated by this place of artistic exchange and collaboration.

Place of Assembly

A Question of Identity
17 October, 18 October & 25 October
The Wheeler Centre

A Question of Identity is a series of talks which question what it means to be Australian today and how notions of an Australian identity affect the art that we create today. ‘Are our iconic cultural notions and images relevant to the Australia we live in, and why are they buried deep in the bush, while most of us live clinging to the coastal fringe?’

Mon 17 October at 5.45pm
The Australian moment – what does it mean to be Aussie right now?
Chair: Phil Kafcaloudes (broadcaster)
Panel: Aamer Rahman, Marylou Jelbart, Hannie Rayson
What have been the greatest political and cultural changes in Australia in the last twenty years? What impact have they had on our identity and how we see ourselves as Aussies today? How is this reflected in the type of art we’re producing and celebrating?

Tue 18 Oct at 5.45pm
The edge of the world – Australia and globalism
Chair: Gina McColl (arts editor of The Age)
Panel: Carrillo Gantner, Josephine Ridge
The idea of a cultural cringe has haunted Australia’s arts for decades. Can Australia’s cultural industries finally claim to be global leaders? With innovation now as likely to be driven from Seoul as from Southbank, are we looking in the right directions for leadership? As art and its audiences increasingly find themselves online, does the tyranny of distance recede.

Tue 25 Oct at 5.45pm
How white is our art?
Chair: Damian Smith (director and curator of Words for Art)
Panel: Bindi Cole, Kobya, Michael Agar, Lesley Alway
Melbourne is an international city with a diverse and cosmopolitan population. But is that reflected in our art, either on the stage or in the boardrooms of our major organisations? In a post-everything world, should we even be concerned?

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